Journalistic Issues

By Warner Todd Huston | September 13, 2008 | 8:46 AM EDT

Dontcha ya hate it when Old Media outlets beat up on other Old Media outlets? (Well, maybe you don't hate it, exactly) It's like Old Media on Old Media violence. In this case we have the United Press International (UPI), struggling lesser known news wire service, giving the big smack-a-roo to ABC. UPI is warning that Charlie Gibson's gruff handling of Governor Sarah Palin may "backfire," and that the interview revealed a "double standard" of harsh treatment for Republicans compared to the softballs they've thrown to Democrats in past interviews.

Who can disagree with that assessment?

UPI's Martin Sieff's one sentence assessment of the interview seems to be the general consensus of all dispassionate observers. "There were no surprises, no knockout zingers," Sieff says, "but also no bloopers Thursday night in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's first TV interview since becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee."

By Matthew Vadum | September 12, 2008 | 9:35 PM EDT

Johanna Neuman of the Los Angeles Times yesterday misrepresented First Lady Laura Bush's words to make it seem like she was backing away from GOP veep candidate Sarah Palin's criticism of Senator Barack Obama's community organizing days.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 12, 2008 | 9:26 AM EDT

<p><b>**Video Below the Fold**</b></p>

<p><img height="116" hspace="0" src="" width="90" align="right" border="0" />As if we needed another reason to think that the excitable Maureen Dowd and the empty headed Matt Damon are... well, excitable and empty headed... we get the newest raindrop in their river of blather as proof that their "research" into a subject seems to consist of hearing an unsupported claim and deciding it represent gospel truth. Our latest proof is that they both seem to have been taken in by a nutrooter lie, a fake quote that claims Sarah Palin said, "dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago." </p>

Both seem to have fallen for a <a href=" of Governor Palin</a> invented by a blogger who's post seems to have been taken literally. The following self-identified "fake Governor Sarah Palin Quote" was posted on August 30: "God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats." </p>

By Warner Todd Huston | September 12, 2008 | 2:44 AM EDT

This one has got to take the cake for stupidity and lack of journalistic integrity. The Old Media has been gyrating in ever widening circles to find new and unheard of ways to destroy Governor Sarah Palin and now from the Hartford Courant (Connecticut) we find the most ridiculous one yet. With this Robert Thorson column we have now gone from slandering Gov. Palin herself, to attacking every last member of her family -- including her Down Syndrome child, Trig -- to this latest stop on the smear Palin express: attacking Palin's hometown Wasilla, Alaska. Thorson seriously tries to make us believe that Wasilla is an "angry" town! Why? Because of its "geography." And because of something that happened in 1976.

Yes, Wasilla is filled with "disappointed" and "angry" people and this is what "scares" Thorson about Governor Sarah Palin. And Thorson knows that everyone in Wasilla is foaming at the mouth mad because of his intimate knowledge of Wasilla and it's people, right? He knows this because of his extensive research into Wasilla's newspapers, or TV reports, or interviews with citizens all of whom are telling him about their mental perturbation, right? Uh, no. He "knows" this because of an Encyclopedia entry and little else.

By Jacob S. Lybbert | September 11, 2008 | 4:12 PM EDT

What if you could download a program that would scan, magically, any article written anywhere and expose the spin, bias, and misinformation? Would that interest you?This is what a new program--SpinSpotter--coming to you from Seattle, WA, purports to do. Business Week reports:

The application's algorithms work off six key tenets of spin and bias, which the company derived from both the guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists' Code Of Ethics and input from an advisory board composed of journalism luminaries.
By Rusty Weiss | September 11, 2008 | 10:09 AM EDT
Keith Olbermann is a man of little integrity. Yet from a journalistic aspect, he does exude an air of intelligence, and is a very well spoken, albeit lame, excuse for an anchor. Olbermann, who clearly and cleverly picks descriptive terms from a vast ranging vocabulary to convey his thoughts, has placed one well thought out phrase in his recent ‘Special Comment’ piece on Countdown: Republicans Hijacked 9/11.
By Warner Todd Huston | September 10, 2008 | 5:31 AM EDT

Mario Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer wants you to know that Governor Sarah Palin's selling of her state's plane is no big deal. Why? Well, because Democrat Governor Ed "Fast Eddie" Rendell sold his state's plane, too, and he got a better deal. So, Palin's plane purveying pales next to Rendell's according to Cattabiani. Only, there are quite a few facts that Cattabiani seems to have skipped in his story. So, apparently, the only way for the Philly Inquirer to pooh pooh Palin's efforts is to mislead us about Rendell's. Unfortunately for Cattabiani, his piece ends up being just another way to lie about Palin's record.

Starting out suitably flippant, Cattabiani takes a sarcastic jab at Palin telling her that she should "take a lesson from the Rendell administration on how to sell a state airplane," and then goes on to relate how Rendell sold his state plane at a profit. And Cattabiani then quotes a Rendell crony to the effect that Palin is "inexperienced" because of it all. Naturally, there is no investigation into what sorts of planes the two Governors sold, nor what they were worth because it turns out the Pennsylvanian plane was worth more than the Alaskan plane in the first place -- nor does Cattabiani give the Palin camp any space to reply to the political jab.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 9, 2008 | 6:54 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported on September 5, the celebrity gossip magazine "Us Weekly" got inundated by angry subscribers demanding their subscriptions be cancelled after the slick published an issue bashing McCain VP pick Governor Sarah Palin, her family and litle baby Trig.

Well, now it looks like "Us Weekly" is desperate to stem the tide of angry cancellations by offering free issues to anyone upset over the Palin-Bashing issue. Michelle Malkin is reporting that the magazine is sending subscribers an email begging them not to cancel and offering a groveling apology.

By Warner Todd Huston | September 9, 2008 | 5:39 AM EDT

Back on September 3, the Detroit Free Press ran a feature asking local voters how they felt about Governor Sarah Palin's acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention. However, several of those identified as "independent" voters have turned out to be far from independent but are anti-war activists and members of the radical hate-group, Code Pink. Looks like the Detroit Free Press got snookered big time on this one.

The Free Press published the opinions of Ilene Beninson, 52, and Joellen Gilchrist, 64, as the opinion of "independents" and, naturally, they both hated Palin and her speech. But, as the days rolled onward, it has come to light that neither Beninson nor Gilchrist are as "independent" as they claimed. Even ABC's Jake Tapper got snared by the sham independents. Tapper later apologized for his error.

By Rusty Weiss | September 8, 2008 | 10:21 PM EDT
The Looney LeftThis is to say, not reality at all.

What is the first step in the main stream media’s handbook of liberal bias?  Why, alter the headline to fit your agenda, of course.

In textbook MSM form, liberal news outlets have been altering the planned Tuesday announcement by President Bush that 8,000 troops in Iraq will be home by February. 

Allow me to demonstrate…

By Warner Todd Huston | September 8, 2008 | 4:27 AM EDT

What's in a name? Well, if you'll excuse my Shakespeare, what's in a name is a certain level of respect. And in the pursuit of straight news a person's name should be presented without sarcastic manipulation as well as with proper titles affixed. For instance, Hillary Clinton is properly either Mrs. Clinton or Senator Clinton. On the other hand, calling Hillary "Her Thighness" is not appropriate in a straight news story. It may be funny, of course, but it is not proper nor does it show the respect due the woman. (I know, I'm a killjoy) So, why does the New York Times and the L.A. Times both so often call Governor Sarah Palin Ms. all the time?

Could it be that they wish to subtly bestow as much disrespect as possible in their news stories on McCain's VP pick without going as far as calling her a name like the sarcastic jab "Her Thighness" might serve for Hillary? Could it be these supposedly serious news sources wish to attack Governor Palin and they don't think anyone will notice the slight of her marriage by the misuse of the title Ms.?

By Warner Todd Huston | September 7, 2008 | 9:36 AM EDT

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on September 7 masterful for its underhanded back slapping of John McCain, Sarah Palin and anyone who would vote for them all while pretending to say how successful the McCain/Palin ticket is in garnering support since the end of the GOP Convention.